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Monday 11 December 2017

Gardaí arrest suspected rapist during horrific sex attack

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Robin Schiller

A suspected rapist was arrested by gardaí as he carried out a violent sexual assault on a woman in Dublin city centre.

The horrific attack took place on the capital's northside in the early hours of Monday morning.

The victim, a Portuguese national, was attacked at around 3am in an alleyway at Parnell Place, Dublin 1.

The Irish Independent has learned that residents in the area became aware of a woman in distress and phoned gardaí.

Officers quickly responded and arrested the man as he was carrying out the sex attack.

The victim was taken to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at the nearby Rotunda Hospital.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that a man in his 30s had been arrested.

He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be held for up to 24 hours.

It is understood that the rape suspect became ill and received treatment at the Mater Hospital. The man was last night expected to be quizzed further in relation to the incident at Store Street garda station, where an incident room has been established.

Gardaí also cordoned off the scene and a forensic examination has been carried out by a technical unit.

A source said last night that gardaí would continue to question the suspected sex attacker once he has been discharged from hospital.

"He was brought to hospital and he can't be questioned until doctors give him the all-clear," the source said. "He became ill before being taken into Garda custody.

"Gardaí who responded should be commended for arresting the suspect and it is important now that the victim gets the help and treatment she needs to recover from this ordeal."

Justice

Fianna Fáil councillor Daithí de Róiste, who chairs Dublin City Council's Joint Policing Committee, said: "I applaud gardaí for their quick reaction and I hope justice takes its course in this case."

The number of rapes and sexual assaults carried out in the DMR North Central Division, where Monday morning's attack occurred, has increased in recent years.

Last year, there were 93 such recorded offences throughout the division.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that there were 82 reported rapes and sexual assaults in 2015.

If you have been affected by this issue, you can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 778 888.

Irish Independent

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